BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It has certainly been an uplifting week for the children, like seeing what it might be like fighting a high rise fire. Exercise is part of the lesson plan. You need your strength to carry a dummy to safety, or save yourself from a fire.
The knowledge gained at the academy is invaluable. Greg Jacquet is a Biloxi Fire Inspector.
"They have the chance to be able to see what it would actually be like to have their house on fire and their smoked up and their smoke detectors would go off. They actually roll out of their bed," Jacquet explained.
These lessons last a lifetime, according to Chief Vincent Payne.
"We try and teach them lessons in safety and make sure that they start at an early age. That way they can progress us, all they get, they take these habits on into adulthood," said Payne.
The children are quick learners. One of them is Abigail Radicia.
"We are learning how when the firemen take the hose and they drag the people so they won't be in the fire," said Abigail.
Another participant is Caleb McCarty.
"I have learned how to call 911. We've learned how to tie knots to help rescue people. We've learned what's on the ambulance. We learned how to spray a hose. We learned lots of things," Caleb said.
One of those things is basic first aid. While the children attending the fire academy are having a lot of fun and learning serious lessons while they are doing it, perhaps the adults teaching them actually enjoy it more. Just ask Fire Inspector Skip Elsworth.
"I'm having just as much fun as the rest of these kids are. I'm just a big kid at heart. When these kids are happy, we're happy," said Elsworth.
Before class is over, it's time to record a few memories before heading home armed with lifesaving skills. This is the fourth year the Biloxi Fire Department has hosted the academy.